Note: this letter originally appeared as an email sent to the Hopkins community on February 25, 2022.
Dear Johns Hopkins Community:
As you may know, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced Thursday that the city’s indoor masking requirement will be lifted on March 1, in concert with the previously announced end to the Washington, D.C., mask mandate. We have consulted with our experts in public health and infectious disease, and mindful of the particular circumstances of our campus community, we have chosen not to lift our own mask mandate or change the type of mask that is required at that time.
We are heartened by the reduction in both case rates and severe complications requiring hospitalization locally and nationally, and we are hopeful that we will soon be able to relax our mask requirements in a phased manner. However, we know that consistent, proper use of high-quality face masks is one of the most effective measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, and given the difficulty of maintaining physical distancing in many university settings, we are taking a conservative approach to relaxing this mandate. We will continue to closely monitor conditions on campus and in the broader community and will keep you updated.
Meanwhile, based on the high vaccination and booster rates within our community and the improvements in public health conditions that have already taken place, we are able to immediately relax several other policies, with additional loosening of the rules planned for next month. (School of Medicine affiliates will continue to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine’s policies.)
Health checks for JHU affiliates coming to JHU campuses using Prodensity will no longer be required. We encourage keeping the app on your mobile device as we will continue to use it to communicate important information about testing sites and our COVID protocols. As we detailed in our 11/19 communication, no one should come to campus when they are sick.
Given the continued low occurrence of COVID cases on campus, we are returning to a requirement of once-weekly, mandatory asymptomatic testing for undergraduate and graduate students. Mandatory weekly testing is expected to remain for the rest of the spring term, and testing continues to be available to faculty, staff, trainees, and postdocs who want it. Details are on the JHU coronavirus information website. As is currently the case, testing requirements will vary in some divisions based on the nature of certain programs. In those cases, students will receive additional instruction from their divisions. Individuals who have approved exceptions to the university vaccination or booster policy must continue to test twice a week.
Effective March 19:
Food service will be allowed at indoor events, and on-campus dining will return without capacity restrictions. Physical distancing should still be maintained where feasible. Remaining restrictions on off-campus business meals, which are currently limited to four people together, also will be lifted.
Campus guests older than 5 years old who will be inside campus-operated buildings in the U.S. are expected to comply with university COVID vaccination requirements already in place for our affiliates. Details of those requirements and how they apply to campus guests are available on the vaccination page of the coronavirus information website.
We are pleased that we have been able to take a number of steps this semester to relax the restrictions put in place during the delta and omicron waves, but we will remain observant of the conditions locally and nationally and will not hesitate to change course if necessary to protect our campus community and our neighbors. We have certainly learned by now that the progression of this pandemic is not linear, and we should all be prepared for the possibility that we may again have to impose additional public health protections. We thank you for your continued patience and flexibility, and your collective commitment to pursuing Johns Hopkins’ mission as safely as possible.
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-BeingInterim Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Interim Vice President for Human Resources